Home » NFL News » Collusion becomes harder to prove when it’s baked into the system

Collusion becomes harder to prove when it’s baked into the system

The NFL Players Association hopes to prove that NFL teams have colluded in refusing to give “certain quarterback” fully-guaranteed contracts, like the one signed earlier this year by Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. It won’t be easy.

Beyond the challenges associated with getting the arbitrator to give the union access to text messages and/or emails that that possibly will contain a smoking gun that proves coordination when it comes to refusing to give out fully-guaranteed deals, there’s a separate reality when it comes to the NFL and collusion. It’s so baked into the overall system that it can’t be proven in any one, specific case.

The NFL consists of 32 independent businesses. The existence of a multi-employer collective bargaining agreement allows these 32 independent businesses to set common rules regarding minimum pay, salary cap, the franchise tag, and other devices regarding player compensation. Beyond the specific limitations contained in the CBA, these independent businesses can do whatever they want — such as give all players fully-guaranteed contracts.

But the teams coordinate their activities, through the league office. 345 Park Avenue reviews every contract. The league’s Management Council provides overall guidance to the teams. Over time, teams learn that certain decisions are frowned upon by the league and/or the Management Council.

Back in 2006, the Viking used an aggressively creative offer sheet to pilfer guard Steve Hutchinson from the Seahawks. The Seahawks went tit-for-tat, using the same technique to take receiver Nate Burleson from Minnesota. At the league meetings that year, the Vikings and Seahawks executives responsible for the maneuver had their heads clunked together. And then the league changed the rules to prevent other teams from doing the same thing in the future.

In 2012, the Dallas and Washington got smacked around by the league for daring to treat the uncapped year of 2010 as (wait for it) uncapped.


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/collusion-becomes-harder-prove-baked-144047223.html?src=rss

Author : ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Publish date : 2022-11-24 14:40:47

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